Friday, February 26, 2010

Love Defined

Love is one of those topics that everyone becomes increasingly interested in as we grow. Its this idea of an emotion that is so strong it connects us with the object of our affection. Its strength is our curiosity and its attainment is our quest. Humans want to be loved. We have an innate thirst for it. As Mother Theresa so eloquently put it:There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in
this world than for bread
. I am not here to put a definition on the word love. Quite the contrary, I love that it means so many different things to different people. It can be expressed and felt in countless ways. But I see alot of people mistaking other things for love as well. I wanted to share some observations I have made to help you craft your own definition of what is needed for you to love and be loved.

Love has levels. Love is different. Love needs a personal touch.
Every person you love should not and probably is not on the same level. For me, my love for God and my love for my parents are my oldest and strongest loves. But just because love has levels does not mean any level of love demeans the others, they are just different. The love you have for each person in your life has to be individually crafted. I love my friends, I love my family, I love humanity in general. I love people in Haiti, Korea, and China, I've never met before. Is it the same level as my mother? No. But that's ok. As you begin to open yourself to love, it encompasses your life. Opening yourself up to it brings in other emotions like empathy, compassion, hope, and fairness. After a while, people will be drawn to you because you can feel love on even the most basic of levels.

Love is not to be rationed.
I am always so thankful I grew up in a household of strong yet LOVING parents. I got constant love in both action and word form. It makes a difference. The world can be cruel and that great thing about love is that it can take an edge off the whippings of the world. So if you have someone that you claim to love, telling them how you feel and backing up those feelings should come often. Its great affirmation and sometimes after a bad day, its just needed. Love is one of those things you can't hold in. True love comes out, where it should be.

Love withstands time & distance.
In a finicky fair weather society, many people are claiming to love you yet you can't find them minutes after their revelation. Love is not a quick flame but a slow burn. If you find that when someone is out of your face, they no longer impact your thoughts or feelings, what you felt for them was probably along the lines of the feelings of conquest, passion, lust, or infatuation. Those fade. Love is an attachment you feel in any moment regardless of the space that separated you or the time apart.

Love isn't THAT hard.
Now this one is a biggie. If you find yourself in a constant struggle with an individual who is supposedly the object of your love and you theirs, you are probably dealing with a mimic emotion (I named them earlier: the feelings of conquest, passion, lust,infatuation, etc.) These emotions create the "warm fuzzy" feeling of love but one thing those cannot mimic is love's tranquility. When struggles arise, the mimic emotions make you even more confused and more agitated. Love, not only music ;), usually soothes the savage beast in us all. It makes us limit the damage we inflict on the other individual and weigh out consequences. Love is not confusion. Nor will it ever be.

Love goes hand in hand with other concepts. Love rarely acts alone and since love is so hard to spot on its own, you can look for its companions to help discern it from the mimic emotions. One companion concept of love is respect. Respect and love go hand in hand. I argue that love cannot exist without respect in its presence. Respect is defined as a feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem, I.e. preferential treatment. Respect is what keeps me from hurting an individual and love is the reason for the respect. Because if I don't respect the person that I love, what makes me love them?

Another concept is companionship. Companionship is just a fancy friendship. Its a little more complicated than a regular friendship because of the time and energy expelled. Just valuing time spent with that person above others is a great avenue for love. If you don't like conversing or spending time with your partner, how can you compile the path of emotions that lead up to the Big L?

The last concept is trust. Trust and love don't HAVE to coexist but its such a rockier road with it. Trust is often needed for love because it is trust that allows you to open your heart to receive and give the love. Its hard to love when you believe your partner is capable of ANYTHING under the sun. Though the two are almost mutually exclusive, but they often play on one another. Lack of trust can sometimes squeeze love to its barest minimum.

So, in world in which we don't like to take L's, I implore you to try love. Its a challenging venture regardless of the person you give it to but without it life is less colorful. It is our ability to love that gives us most of our happiness. So on your journey to love whether it be romantic or otherwise, take heed to my words so that you'll create love and be able to discern love from other emotions that have like hues. This topic is going to take me a few blogs to complete but as I sign off, I encourage you to just love humanity and everyone around you. As I stated love does not have to and should not be rationed. Give it freely. You may encounter some times when your love isn't returned but see if that same love doesn't eventually return to you.

I love you all. Hope this helps.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Questions: Wifey Material

Every now and then I tackle questions to put my spin on issues I hear around the way. I was asked these two questions:What is wifey material? and why do men use it as an excuse to not be with someone? So ladies, lets examine shall we?

What is wifey material?
Well I know one thing, it is NOT necessarily wife material. Wifey is a noun created for women who are acting too closely to a position they have not and may never serve for a person. A wifey for all intensive purposes is a very tired, overworked girlfriend. Girlfriends and wives serve two diverging, distinct positions. A girlfriend shows her man who she is as an individual: the personality, the skills that make you the special woman that he needs. A wife is a more serving role as a husband is. Since both of you have combined your lives, you then function as a unit. The reason the faithfulness and service is not as hard as a wife is because of the halo of security a marriage brings. You are not only a wife but you have a husband. Wifey does not have a husband. I have seen girls berated for acting like girlfriends instead of wives when they have no rings and it is baffling. Because you cannot live with me, it is a bad thing? People that play house often don't get the house. Sounds to me like you need a wife and you haven't offered me that position. Who wants to do more work for less pay and benefits?

In my experience wifey material DOES NOT MATTER.
I know everyone is going to be up in arms about that one but let me explain. I did not say wifey material does not EXIST. There are women out there who possess qualities that make them more attractive as "wifeys", but those traits and that definition are like beauty- there's an undeniable "society standard" but most of it is in the eye of the beholder.

Men Do What They Want.
From what I have found, men still pick at the end of the day who they want whether they be societally "wifeable" or not. Women do not give men enough credit for this decision because men don't want the credit. Alot of times it is easier to say that a decision is due to either society or your lack of conviction instead of making a firm stand. The reason why its easier?-accountability. For example, not dating someone because society says they shouldn't be together or playing mum until the person leaves you places the responsibility of the situation in someone else's hands. I'm going to be real with you ladies for a second. A man that really wants you will stop at nothing to have you. A man who is on the fence will be the one with excuses. Yes, your man is romantic. Yes, your man could woo you. Yes, your man does know how to make you happy. If he is dragging his feet, it is certainly not because he does not know HOW. So if he isn't, what's the excuse?

I've fallen for it before too but please believe that the excuses are just that. So next time you hear "Baby, I can't be with you because you are too good a woman for me", "Baby, I can't be with you because you're not wifey material," "Baby, I just am not vibing with you", know that these things have NEVER stopped a man before. For example, look at Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian. Sorry, but you would think a man with such a sweet demeanor and presence would never be caught dead with a proverbial porn star on his arm. Make you think? It should. Man will wife women with reputations, unattractive women, crazy women if that is what they WANT to do. So that only leaves what you allow yourself to be worth.

If Not Wifey Then What?
Women, we have got to create better standards for ourselves on how we want to be treated. We're so interested in conquering a man we forget to ask ourselves if we really want the spoils of war! Do you really want to be with a man that is just so so about you with no conviction? Do you really want to be "wifey material" when you could be more? Instead of focusing on the traits that could make a man fall in love, focus on traits that can make you fall in love with yourself. Being confident, having standards, and not backing from those standards will show the world and men how you should be treated and in turn you will be treated as such. Set REASONABLE expectations and if your expectations are not met, don't be afraid to leave. People will be able to see the dignity and class. You won't have to work so hard for "wifey respect." I meet amazing successful beautiful insightful women that are so desperate their actions paint them as lower than they should ever be classified. There is going to be a man out there that will at least try to move Heaven and Earth for you. And it will be because you are what he wants. If you do not have a man like that, chances are he would be like that with someone else and someone else would be like that for you. Don't block your true happiness.

We should all stop this quest to be wifey material and start the quest 2 other quests: the quest to make you the best you can be all the way around and the quest (if you're looking) for the man that loves you regardless. He will by default think you are worthy to be valued and honoured.

The question series is a littler harsher than the Information Series but hopefully, it has an audience. I always welcome comments and more questions for the blog. Follow me on twitter (kennedae) and follow the blog.

Happy Presidents Day & Hope It Helps!


Friday, February 12, 2010


In the spirit of Valentines Day, I wanted to touch on the subject of romantic loneliness. The theme of 2010 is self actualization and loneliness in any form is an emotion that needs to be dealt with. I've heard many of my friends who are smart funny attractive and certainly worthy of every affection in the world beat themselves up because they find themselves frequently unattached. Well, let me see if I can put things in perspective for you.

1) Don't Take It Personal:
A lot of times when people think of someone being single, they attribute it to that individual being somehow unfit of obtaining or handling a relationship. Nine times out of ten, especially as young as we are in the game of life, that just simply is not the case. So stop beating yourself up. You will find someone in due time and it does seem to ring true that every time you stop thinking about it and resign to the situation, a budding romance appears. Yes, you are deserving of love.
2) Don't Focus on Romantic Love Only:
As a generation, we have forgotten about the other types of love. So many of us are willing to throw all our other relationships out the window for a chance at a romantic connection. Dare I say, romantic love is one of the weakest of the forms of love? Cultivate other relationships with your friends, family members, and colleagues. Throw a party for your friends or take your parents out to dinner. Spend a day with your sister, cousin, or brother. Bring your coworkers coffee and take an interest in their lives. See if you don't feel loved whether you're single or involved. When I look back in life at some of my favorite times, it involves an array of people not just past men. Promoting amazing relationships in other areas of your life will make you a genuinely more rounded, less easily hurt, and more marketable individual. People can see loneliness all over your face and that is not marketable to potential mates. And when you do find yourself interested in someone new, it does make you easier to love. The person that will be thinking “All of these people, think this person is amazing, so why shouldn’t I?” So don’t be lonely, there are people who would love nothing more than spending some time with you.
3) Don’t Listen to Others:
For some reason, the holiday has become more of a look what I got day instead of a true exchange of love day. I’ve been on both sides of the fence of the holiday. I’ve been the girl excited to tell my friends what my sweetie got me and I have been the friend that just wanted the mushy day to end. Sometimes it is a natural reaction of people to compare their lives to others. Resist that urge. Be genuinely happy for your friends involved in relationships. Envy eats away at everyone and that envy actually feeds loneliness. If you resist the envy, the loneliness automatically gets better. Understand that one day you will want someone to revel in your happiness with you as well.
4) Enjoy Being Single! :
Nobody enjoys being single anymore and it is so mind blowing to me! Being a single adult can be so much fun depending on what light you see it in. You have no one to answer to, you can date multiple people (responsibly!), you can focus more on your career, your family, and your friends. Your dating options are wide open, you could marry a future President or model or philosopher for all you know. What’s not to like? Our society has made being single, especially for women, a form of leprosy instead of a normal passage of life everyone should go through at one point or another. It is entirely unhealthy to have never been single at any point in life (sorry but it is). So enjoy your time! Once your romantic life sets in, you will never have that particular form of freedom again.

I hope these tips help. This blog is not an anti-Valentines Day post at all. Make sure whether you have someone or don’t to make your V-day as full of love as possible. Remember to tell EVERYONE you love just how much they mean to you. Everybody needs it.

Love You guys and Happy Upcoming Valentine's Day to You and Yours,